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TKART magazine How To | How to prepare the mixture for karts
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Giacomo Mantovani
23 August 2021
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Excluding electric drives, karts are generally driven by 2- or 4-stroke engines (much more rarely by Wankel engines). Regarding Racing karts, however, the 2-stroke engine is definitely predominant, even if 4-stroke motorized Racing classes with Briggs & Stratton and Tillotson engines are increasingly becoming popular. If in 4-stroke engines combustion is given by petrol while lubrication is oil based using a dedicated circuit,  in 2-stroke engines combustion and lubrication take place thanks to a single element, the mixture, or a mix of oil-petrol in which the lubricant is suspended, in a uniform manner, inside the petrol. The important task of the mixture is to provide energy to the engine and at the same time properly lubricate all the components in friction, subject to high wear and exposed to high temperatures. 2-stroke engines are operated based on a pump crankcase that at first sucks the mixture from the carburetor and then, subsequently, pushes it into the combustion chamber making it travel the distance necessary for the total lubrication of the internal components. Therefore, the correct preparation of the mixture ensures correct operation, ideal performance, adequate reliability of the engine and... It avoids rather costly breakdowns.
[1] Entry into the engine of the oil-petrol mixture coming from the carburetor, sucked by the crankcase-pump of the 2-stroke engine; [2] Combustion of the oil-petrol mixture in the combustion chamber; [4] Exhaust gases leak generated by the combustion of the oil-petrol mixture; [3] Lubrication of the moving parts of the engine thanks to the oil-petrol mixture entering the engine crankcase.
Having said that, the mixture consists of petrol and oil mixed together. Finding the right type of petrol is not a problem. Depending on the type of activity you intend to carry out with your kart (practice laps, local races, national races, international races, etc.) finding the right petrol will never be a problem:  for practice laps, and non-international level races, usually, just go to any petrol station on the road network. In the case of practice laps, you can choose the most convenient petrol station and the type of petrol (with more or less octane).  In the case of a race, however, the organiser will indicate the distributor to go to so that all participants in the race use the same petrol. In international competitions (FIA Karting and WSK, for example) the promoter often chooses a single supplier of petrol of a specific type that manages its distribution on the track to all participants using canisters. If you know the price at the pump according to the country in which you live, know instead that the petrol of the highest level races provided by a special manufacturer/distributor is specific for competitions and the cost may even reach 4 Euros/lt.
On the left, an example of petrol distribution during international races, during which this activity is entrusted to a specific producer/distributor (in this case Panta Racing Fuel) that supplies racing-type petrol. On the right, a common petrol pump of the road network.
On the left, a can of petrol of a specific supplier for international races and a common can of petrol, on the right, useful for refuelling at any petrol station on the road network.
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